New York, NY - The Catholic League received hate mail from a person identifying himself as a member of the “Sons of the American Revolution.” The card read, “OF COURSE—that wonderful Frances Kissling is 100% right and YOU are a barking dog. It is your medieval ‘catholic church’ [sic] which is the anti-Christ…denounced by Our Lord Jesus Christ.” The card ended with “Read your own history of the papacy—a scandal-ridden outrage—we need a new REFORMATION!”
The rock music band “Hell on Earth” sold something called “Anal Rosary Beads” on its website. The design of the rosary bead package featured a bare-bottomed bishop and a naked woman removing rosary beads from him with her teeth.
Auburn, ME - The new $12 million St. Dominic Regional High School became a vandalism target. Roman Catholic Bishops Joseph Gerry and Michael Cote were greeted by spray-painted images when they arrived at the new school to perform the first Mass held in its chapel. Some of the graffiti were insulting and profane. There were also Lewiston High School’s initials and a fuzzy image of that school’s mascot, the blue devil.
Rolling Prairie, IN - For the second time in less than two days, a Catholic cemetery was vandalized. While vehicle tires caused earlier damage to St. John Kanty Catholic Cemetery, the latest incident was directed at specific objects in the cemetery, including the figure of Christ on a crucifix; the legs on the body were smashed. Damage was estimated at $7,500.
The Catholic League received a letter from Steven Ross of Springfield, OR. In it Ross wrote, “…the Catholic Church’s belief are [sic] about equivalent to those of bin Laden.” He then went on to reference the Inquisition and Northern Ireland.
Las Vegas, NV - Vandals struck the home of the youth minister for Christ the King parish. The youth minister was on the grounds of the church conducting a homeless retreat when vandals spray-painted satanic writings (666 and pentagrams) on the home. A boulder was thrown through the front window. Police classified the attack as a hate crime.
Islip Terrace, NY - Vandals struck statues at St. Peter the Apostle Church. A statue of the Blessed Mother had the feet and hands broken off. A few feet away a statue of St. Anthony was decapitated. The statue of the Blessed Mother had been in the church garden since its founding.
Hollywood, CA - Residents of the Hollywood area received an anonymous mailing that showed a picture of the pope with the heading, “THE HEAD OF THE AXIS OF EVIL.” The mailing accused the pope of overpopulating the world, increasing AIDS, and creating a climate where priests rape little boys. It concluded, “Rent or watch ‘The Boys of St. Vincent’—a mini-series all about molestation that the pope and the Catholic League does not want you to see.” The mailing was purposefully dishonest, and clearly was meant to promote anti-Catholicism.
Los Angeles, CA - The California Court of Appeals ruled that an employee of a Catholic hospital in California had a right to conduct anti-Catholic proselytizing of co-workers and patients because he had a First Amendment right to “speak his mind.” The hospital claimed it had a right, as a religious institution, to choose its members and employees consistent with its religious mission. The case then went to the California Supreme Court.
Attorney Jeffrey Anderson, the most prolific attorney for those who claim to be victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests, announced a new plan of attack. Anderson filed suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The law was written by Notre Dame professor G. Robert Blakely, who said it was aimed at fighting the mafia.
New York, NY - The Catholic League received at its New York headquarters a postcard of New York’s Episcopal Trinity Church. It was signed by the “Clergy of Trinity.” It read, “You are the true white sepulchers denounced by Christ Our Lord. SHAME ON YOU. And thank you for the true Protestant Reformation!!!!” Officials at the true Trinity Church in New York wrote to the Catholic League to condemn such hate messages.
Two civil lawsuits were filed naming the Vatican as a conspirator in the Church’s sex abuse scandal. Also named were the dioceses of Portland, Chicago and St. Petersburg, as well as two religious orders. The attorney filing the suits, Jeffrey Anderson, recently filed a RICO suit against former Palm Beach Bishop Anthony O’Connell, the aforementioned three dioceses where he served, and all American bishops. Past attempts to file suit against the Vatican failed.
Miami, FL - Vandals damaged or destroyed 80 headstones in the historic Woodland Park Cemetery. The perpetrators toppled statues of saints, cracked dozens of flower vases, split at least one marble crucifix in half and beheaded a statue of Jesus. Officials called it the worst case of vandalism at the cemetery in 97 years.
Tesuque Pueblo, NM - George Victor Downey and Jason Tapia set a fire that gutted the 87-year-old San Diego Catholic Church. The two men used candles and matches from the church to ignite a pile of vestments. They also decapitated statues of the Blessed Mother and saints and stole the tabernacle, thinking it contained money. Downey, an unconfirmed member of the American Indian Movement, stayed behind to watch the church burn, and afterwards told investigators, “That ain’t my [expletive] religion. It’s a slave religion.”
Los Angeles, CA - Emad Ibrahim Saad was convicted for the October 28, 2001 vandalizing of St. Augustine Church and School in Culver City. Saad decapitated a statue of the Blessed Mother, cut off the hand of a statue of St. Rita and stole a statue of Blessed Junipero Serra. He also dumped 2,000 copies of a magazine, stolen from a mosque, which declared, “Allah is the only true God.” The stolen statue was found at a Culver City mosque. Officials at the mosque apologized to the church, saying the vandalism attempted to cause a rift between them.
The website of Concerned Women for America offered the video “America, Israel & Islam,” by Dave Hunt, a fundamentalist Protestant who engages in anti-Catholic rhetoric. Other items by this author were also available. The video is rife with anti-Catholic statements. When a complaint was lodged with the organization, the video and the rest of Hunt’s merchandise were removed from the website.
Bellerose, NY - A 7-foot marble statue of St. Gregory the Great, which stood for 38 years in front of the parish and school that bear his name, was toppled and smashed into four pieces. The head of the statue, too heavy for one person to lift, had its nose smashed off. Grooves, apparently from chains, were cut into the statue’s shoulders.
The Catholic League received literally thousands of pieces of hate mail by phone, website and regular mail in the wake of the “Opie and Anthony” show being taken off the air. Included were every possible profanity and vile statements of hatred of the Church, Jesus, the Blessed Mother and Catholic practices. Most mentioned the sex abuse scandal. Included were: “I think I understand why the catholics [sic] are against abortion, every aborted fetus is one less child to molest.”; “[I] think the church should be cancelled due to pedophile priests.”; “Why dont [sic] you put your house in order first and get some priests that dont [sic] touch little boys!”; “I guess that the only people that could have sex in church are Priest [sic] with little boys”; “GO F— SOME MORE BOYS AND LEAVE OPIE & ANTHONY ALONE. YOU F—ING F—ER PERVERTS!”
Bayside, NY - Anti-Catholic graffiti was sprayed across the front and steps of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church. The graffiti referred to the abuse scandal.
New York, NY - A man got into an argument with the “Black Israelites” over their displaying of a picture of Jesus with horns. Eight members of the gang beat up the man, stomping on his head. He was taken to the hospital with severe head trauma.
Brooklyn, NY - At the Church of the Good Shepherd, vandals spray-painted swastikas and crude markings on the exterior walls and doors of the church and on an exterior statue of the Blessed Mother. This was the third Catholic church vandalized in the Diocese of Brooklyn in two weeks.
In Britain’s Guardian newspaper, actor Christopher Reeve accused President George W. Bush of bowing to Catholic interests on stem cell research. He charged that as a result of this alleged obstruction of research on the part of Bush and the Church, he was unnecessarily confined to a wheelchair; Reeve supports stem cell research and therapeutic cloning. He also saw another sinister aspect to the story: “We’ve had a severe violation of the separation of church and state in the handling of what to do about this emerging technology.” After the Catholic League brought attention to his comments, Reeve apologized on September 18.
The Catholic League received a fax in response to the league’s call for a “death chamber” in the NYC Museum of Sex. It said the Catholic Church should set up death chamber exhibits in churches exhibiting the Inquisition, Hitler, Jewish persecution and the “millions” of murders committed by the Church. Catholics are called “insane” for believing in God. The writer concludes “F— your God. To hell with your Holy Spirit,” because “you have used them to abuse humans….”
The Catholic League received a phone message in response to the league’s call for a “death chamber” in the NYC Museum of Sex: “The last death chamber I know is for the Jews in World War II and this was because of the Catholics. Every time I see a priest I chuckle because I know he wants to grab a little boy but he is not allowed to anymore.”
A postcard was received at the Catholic League with the picture of a half-dressed man and bearing the homosexual pink triangle. It said “Christianity like judaism [sic] & the Islamic Faiths should be outlawed. These 3 religions are the source of many major problems on earth.”
Rosedale, NY - At St. Clare’s Church, the third instance of vandalism in five weeks occurred. A garbage can was thrown at a large crucifix, smashing the arms of the figure of Jesus. A week before a beer bottle was thrown at a stained glass window, breaking its protective cover. On August 10 a wooden shrine to St. Therese was thrown over and broken.
Rosedale, NY - For the second time in as many weeks a crucifix was damaged at St. Clare’s Church. A blunt instrument was used to smash the statue of Jesus, but the metal rods installed after it was first vandalized kept it from falling to the ground.
Villanueva, NM - An outdoor shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe was vandalized. Statues of the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus were smashed. Devotional candles and rosary beads were broken and thrown to the ground.
San Francisco, CA - Among the Halloween costumes on the Castro, the San Francisco Chronicle reported there were “several nuns, at least one pope and even Mother Teresa. Nearby, someone draped a priest’s frock over a parking meter…”
Everett, MA - On the Feast of All Saints at Our Lady of Grace Church, vandals spray-painted the word “whore” on a statue of the Blessed Mother; they elsewhere painted the word “lies,” an inverted cross and a profanity. A former pastor of the church is accused of sexual abuse.
Chicago, IL - Mary Stachowicz, a member of St. Hyacinth Church and a volunteer at a funeral home, had an argument with the janitor, Nicholas Gutierrez, about his gay lifestyle. She asked him, “Why do you [have sex with] boys instead of girls?” This provoked Gutierrez to mutilate her with a knife, place a plastic garbage bag over her head, strangle her and then jam her body in a crawl space under the floor of his apartment. Gutierrez was not charged with a hate crime.
New York, NY - A Chick publication, “The Deceived,” was handed out at the subway station on East 14th Street. The pamphlet claims that the Catholic Church invented Islam as a way to enslave the Arabs.
New York, NY - A man poured gasoline on the front doors of the Church of the Holy Agony and set fire to them. The fire was quickly extinguished. There was some damage to the vestibule of the church, but not to the main body.
Fall River, MA - Figures were stolen from a nativity scene in front of St. Joseph’s Church. The large figures of the Christ Child, the manger, a Wise Man, two lambs, a sheep and an ox were taken.
Mount Healthy, OH - A 54-year-old nativity scene owned by the Paul R. Young Funeral Home was vandalized. The figure of the Christ Child was stolen and replaced by a stuffed monkey. The fingers of the other figures were broken off and the live animals used in the display were let loose into the streets.
Phenix City, AL - A manger that was displayed in front of St. Patrick’s Church was stolen. The figure of the Christ Child was thrown onto the back porch of the church.
Hollywood, FL - Brigitte Boisselier, the head of Clonaid, said her company was responsible for the world’s first cloned human baby; the company is tied to a religious group called the Raelians. Raelians have a history of anti-Catholicism. They advocate cross burnings to protest Catholicism; they’ve blanketed Canada telling Catholic schoolchildren they must renounce their faith; they’ve posted anti-Catholic signs outside Catholic schools; they’ve appealed to the U.N. to denounce the Holy See; they want the Vatican sued for “crimes against humanity”; and they’ve mocked Catholics during Gay Pride parades.